Irrigation farmers in Zomba have expressed fears that the continued spread of the Fall Armyworm that is destroying maize crops in the district may lead to hunger in 2017 if not contained.
Secretary for Chilunga Irrigation Cluster Scheme in Malosa, Esther Mataka told YFM online that the pest has greatly affected their farming.
“We planted crops such as maize late due to the pest. We normally farm on a 12 hectare land but this year we planted on a small area,” Mataka said.
Mataka said they resorted to the physical killing of the worms after noticing that the chemicals have not been effective.
“We are killing the pest and its eggs using our hands. The work is too involving because we do it early morning and late afternoon,” She added.
Machinga Agriculture Development Division (ADD) Acting Programs Manager Isaac Chipeta, concurred with the farmers but said the ADD is working together with farmers to get rid of the worm.